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411 Box Office Report: Gran Turismo Clips Barbie To Take #1 Spot

August 27, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Gran Turismo - Archie Madekwe (Finalized) Image Credit: Gordon Timpen/Sony PIctures

It was a close (and controversial) finish at the box office this weekend, with Gran Turismo sneaking past Barbie to take the top spot. The racing drama grossed $17.3 million to win the weekend by a tiny bit over the Warner Bros. Blockbuster. The number is toward the high end of the $15 million to $18 million that it was estimated for coming into the weekend.

Some analysts are putting an asterisk on this win for a couple of reasons. For one, Sunday business is better than usual due to the fact that it’s National Cinema Day with movie tickets carrying a $4 price tag, and the final Sunday numbers could change the results. But the projections can always change; more controversial is how Sony is counting their weekend results. It boils down to the fact that Sony had 10 days of preview screenings for the true story-based film, and all those numbers were rolled into the Friday grosses. Of course, it’s not anything other studios have done; it’s just a longer amount. And when it comes down to it, the money is all the same on the ledger.

Gran Turismo’s result is a perfectly acceptable result for a film that was budgeted at $60 million. Yes, the film has to stretch a bit and score internationally in order to hit a profit, but it’s off to a good start considering it brought in $36.5 million overseas for a $53.8 million worldwide opening. The film was marketed well and while the pre-opening buzz was not remarkable – barely fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 60% aggregated critic score – it’s hitting with audiences who gave it an A CinemaScore and a 98% RT audience rating. That is some solid word of mouth that should lead into decent holds. As it stands, the film should be able to make it to around $45 million to $50 million domestically, with the overseas grosses likely to put it at breakeven if not a small profit.

Meanwhile, Barbie’s #2 spot is nothing to sniff at, as the smash hit was down just 19% in its sixth weekend with $17.1 million. The Warner Bros. film is now up to a massive $594.8 million domestically and $1.34 billion worldwide, making it the biggest domestic grosser of the year. It’s also just a tiny bit behind Super Mario Bros.’ $1.358 billion which is the current mark for top worldwide grosser. The film is now looking likely to finish its domestic run at around $620 million to $625 million, enormous against a $128 million budget.

Blue Beetle was down two spots to #3 in its second week with $12.8 million. That’s a very solid drop of 49%, much better than the drops of Shazam: Fury of the Gods (69%), The Flash (72%) and Black Adam (59%) and marks the best hold in the DCEU since Birds of Prey slipped 48% in February of 2020.

As it currently stands, Blue Beetle has an upward climb to a profit margin. The film has totaled $46.3 million domestically and $81.8 million worldwide – on par to outgross every DCEU film since Birds of Prey, but still troubling against a $104 million budget. It seems likely at this point to hit $80 million or more by the end of its domestic run, and will need the overseas grosses to pick up if it wants to end the DCEU on a profitable note.

Oppenheimer had the best hold in the top 10 as it nosed down just 16% in its sixth weekend with $9 million. The Christopher Nolan-directed film passed a new milestone as it has grossed $300 million domestically and $777.2 million worldwide. It is now Nolan’s third highest-grossing film domestically, behind only The Dark Knight ($533.7 million) and The Dark Knight Returns ($448.1 million). In terms of worldwide gross, it’s within sight of Inception’s $825.8 million and has a shot at passing that. Domestically it is looking like it will end its run around $325 million and is a megahit against a $100 million budget.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem was down just 29% in its fourth weekend with $6.1 million. The animated film has accrued $98.1 million domestically and $135.1 million worldwide with some markets still waiting release. The film is looking to gross around $115 million domestically and is getting close to profit against its $70 million budget.

The Meg 2: The Trench is officially in hit status as it was off 25% in its fourth weekend to $5.1 million. The megalodon sequel is now at $74.4 million domestically and – more importantly – $352.3 million worldwide. This franchise is built for worldwide grosses, and it’s a money maker for Warner Bros. considering the $129 million budget plus marketing. It is likely to finish up in the US at around $85 million – well below the first film’s $145.4 million but still a fine result.

Strays was down 44% in its second weekend to gross $4.7 million. Considering how all the films were buoyed by National Cinema Day, that’s not a great number. The R-rated comedy has reached $16.1 million domestically and $21.4 million worldwide, rough numbers for a film that cost $45 million plus marketing. As it currently stands, the movie should close out with about $25 million stateside and will lose money for Universal.

Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller followed in the steps of his recent releases – by opening quietly. Retribution got off to a $3.3 million start – an improvement on his last two films Marlowe ($1.8 million opening) and Memory ($1.8 million), and about on par with last February’s Blacklight ($3.5 million).

None of these are results worth crowing about by any measure, it almost goes without saying. Retribution was barely marketed – par for the course for these low-stakes flicks – it scored neither with critics or audiences. The RT critic average was a lousy 30%, while the audience rating is 72% — mediocre, considering your average tends to be in the high 80s for opening weekend. Retribution should vanish quickly from the charts and will hope to make back some of its money on home video, with the final domestic box office likely to be around $7 million or so.

Briarcliff Entertainment’s sports drama The Hill opened at #9 with $2.5 million, about where people were expecting it to do. The drama based on real-life baseball player Rickey Hill was always going to be a modest performer, especially since it didn’t have a big studio to market it. The Hill didn’t have the buzz needed for an indie film release – the RT critic rating is just 37% – but the audience numbers are good at a 95% RT audience rating. The Hill will probably close its domestic run at around $8 million or so. No word on its budget.

Disney’s Haunted Mansion closed out the top 10 with $2.1 million, down 31% in its fifth weekend. The supernatural comedy is a bomb with just $62.3 million in the US and $91.7 million worldwide and a budget of $150 million plus marketing. It’s nearing the end of its run and should finish with about $68 million domestically.

We’ll have a new #1 next weekend as Denzel Washington returns to theaters with The Equalizer III. The action thriller is expected to start with around $30 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Gran Turismo – $17.3 million ($17.3 million total, $53.8 million WW)
2. Barbie – $17.1 million ($594.8 million total, $1.34 billion WW)
3. Blue Beetle – $12.8 million ($46.3 million total, $81.8 million WW)
4. Oppenheimer – $9 million ($300 million total, $777.2 million WW)
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem – $6.1 million ($98.1 million total, $135.1 million WW)
6. Meg 2: The Trench – $5.1 million ($74.4 million total, $352.5 million WW)
7. Strays – $4.7 million ($16.1 million total, $21.4 million WW)
8. Retribution – $3.3 million ($3.3 million total, $3.3 million WW)
9. The Hill – $2.5 million ($2.5 million total, $2.5 million WW)
10. Haunted Mansion – $2.1 million ($62.3 million total, $91.7 million WW)